According to BuiltWith, over 30 million websites use Google Analytics. If you're an up and coming analytics expert looking to make a side-income off your skills, that's a lot of potential customers!
The demand for people with web analytics skills continues to increase. Companies need help setting up, managing, and understanding their analytics accounts.
You might be thinking to yourself “I have some of those skills. I could be a Google Analytics freelancer!” Why not?
I can tell you from first-hand experience, working as a Google Analytics freelancer is a sweet gig.
But it's also a business. It's not all rainbows and sunshine. And right now more than ever, web analytics is a wide-open marketplace.
To succeed as a freelancer, you need to understand how to navigate the marketplace.
So, whether you're just getting started with your Google Analytics certification or you're experienced analyst – having a plan makes all the difference.
Let's look at how to map out a plan for your success as a Google Analytics Freelancer.
How to build a Google Analytics freelance service plan
As a freelancer, the efficiency and accuracy of your work will define your ability to succeed. One of the best ways to become efficient is to focus on a high-value service that you can provide over and over again.
This focus on a specific service area is something I refer to as choosing a niche or “niching down.”
How do you figure out the niche or service area where you should focus?
You can start to figure out your target services by doing some simple brainstorming.
Brainstorm the services you will offer
Try to answer these questions to help you find your service niche:
- What do you enjoy doing in Google Analytics
- What do prospective clients need?
- And what will clients pay for you to accomplish?
Answering these questions will help you find your sweet spot.
The sweet spot is where your skills meet the needs of clients (and you enjoy doing the work). Hitting this target will ensure you bring in enough revenue to sustain your business.
Potential roles you can play as a Google Analytics freelancer
Looking to find gigs as a freelancer? It's essential to establish the service you want to provide.
Let's look at some common services Google Analytics freelancers provide, and then we'll examine how these services may work in the marketplace.
Many companies outsource all their web analytics work. These companies may not have the budget to hire a full-time analyst, or they find it more cost effective to outsource this skill set.
Outsourced analysts enjoy the freedom of contract employment. But they also have a lot of personal interaction with clients. And they handle just about every facet of Google Analytics account management. This type of work can involve doing everything from account setup to monthly reporting.
Monthly analytics reports are something that every business needs, but not all can afford to hire an in-house reporting specialist. As a freelancer, you could write scripts or develop API calls to build detailed custom reports. Weekly, monthly or quarterly reports can even become an automated service.
Audit Existing Google Analytics accounts
As we discussed in the intro to this post, there's no shortage of Google Analytics accounts. Most of those accounts have a vanilla installation and a bunch of junk data inside. It's possible to make a living as a freelancer by auditing existing Google Analytics accounts.
You can figure out which improvements account owners need to make, then provide them a map to fix their account. Or you can even up-sell them to make the upgrades directly as a service provider.
Audits are a tremendous foot-in-the-door project for emerging freelancers.
Technical tagging Expert
You could specialize in integrating Google Analytics with other platforms. Many companies need integration installed between their CRM and Google Analytics. You could concentrate installations for specific CRM or sales databases.
Your preference for how you want to work is also a significant consideration.
Develop a business model
Think about the type of business you ideally want to run.
Automated or manual?
Do you prefer creating automated solutions, or do you want to offer hands-on services?
Hands-on analysts tend to have a lot of client interaction. They also spend more time working inside their client's Google Analytics accounts.
Technical experts that install automated solutions may have less client interaction than high-touch service businesses.
Recurring or one-off projects?
You also have to consider if you want to work with clients on a recurring basis, or if you prefer one-off projects. This decision will have a significant impact on your business model
Put it all together
Plotting your freelance services on our matrix will help you see how these decisions guide your business model.
Here's how this matrix works
- One-off projects are on one side of the horizontal axis, and recurring work is on the other.
- The vertical axis has automated efforts on top and hands-on work on the bottom.
Let's look at where some of the common freelance services we discussed chart on our matrix.
Google Analytics Account Auditing
Auditing is usually a one time project. This type of work can be automated over time, once you perfect your process. To make this service profitable, you need a consistent stream of new customers. So, lead generation will play a prominent role in your business plan.
This role falls on the other end of our spectrum from auditing. This type of freelance work is usually recurring over a long time frame. Outsourced analysts typically work on retainer. A freelancer may only need a handful of clients to generate enough revenue to be successful.
This position also tends to be very client intensive, and very hands-on. So, although you may need fewer clients to make this model work, you'll be expending a lot of resources on those few clients.
Automated Monthly Reports
Delivering automated report is mostly a hands-off service. But it is also a recurring project. If you like using technology, and you want a recurring revenue stream this type of work can be a good option.
You may find that clients are not willing to pay high fees for this type of work. In that case, you'll need lots of accounts to make this service profitable.
This service falls into the opposite side of the grid from monthly reporting. This type of freelancer often commands a high fee for a one time, intensive, hands-on project. There can be some residual maintenance income from integration work. But most of the work is on the front end of the project.
Many service areas trend less to one extreme on our chart. Here are a few examples of Google Analytics freelance services that fall closer to the center of our map.
Google Analytics Evangelist
Evangelist is the role where I currently spend the majority of my time. This type of freelancer is an educator and often a public speaker. Their job involves teaching others the capabilities of web analytics. And training people to use Google Analytics.
You can automate some of this work through training videos or taped lectures. But a lot of it involves hands-on personal interaction.
Tagging is a very hands-on discipline. This service can be both one time and recurring. Most of the work is usually in the implementation. But there's also a lot of maintenance, follow-up work, and changes that clients need help understanding.
Analytics Help Desk
This service involves getting paid to answer Google Analytics questions. You can automate answers to common issues. But most inquiries require a personal response.
Helpdesk is a model I've seen some freelancers use in the past. But I don't see as much of it nowadays. The revenue from this work is often inconsistent. And providing this service involves being available 24/7. It's probably more realistic to provide this service as a supplemental way to get new clients or generate intermittent income.
Other Service Areas
There are a lot more services areas out there to explore. As you look at service niches, think about where they fall on our chart. Then consider how the demands of that service affect your ability to:
- Find clients
- Generate revenue
- And live the lifestyle you want to pursue
Test the market
Once you've identified your sweet spot, you need to validate that your service is in-demand.
You want to make sure there are clients available that need your help. And you want to make sure you can reach your target prospects.
One of the nice things about working in the professional service industry is that you're expected to pre-sell. So, nothing is stopping you from talking to potential customers to establish their needs. Real-world validation is critical for any sustainable business idea.
Before you would agree to a service contract, you want to consult with an attorney. But nothing is holding you back from feeling out the marketplace to gauge demand.
Execute, iterate and niche down
The final step is to execute, iterate and niche down, in that order.
Executing means delivering the services you are offering. Doing these services well, and staying up to date with modern techniques.
Iterating means making continues improvements. Iterating is all about finding ways to become more efficient with the services you offer. As a Google Analytics freelancer, there's no guarantee of your next payday. You need to build efficiency into your services, which creates profits.
You want to be able to provide faster or better solutions than your competition.
Niching down involves continuing to define your sweet spot. In the end, you want to have an obvious definition of your services. Identifying your niche allows you to say:
“This is what my business does. Here is how it helps you, and this is why I am worth the big bucks!!”
Now, I am glossing over these last steps quite a bit. And there's no doubt delivering, optimizing, and specializing is the hard part! Proper planning helps a lot. But it won't tell how the market will react to your presence.
Embrace the adventure
Starting your business is where your real experience as a Google Analytics freelancer begins. If you're determined to make a living in this business, the adventure will choose you. The market will dictate how you adapt your services and your offer.
So the sooner you get started planning and testing, the sooner you'll be able to find your ultimate sweet spot.
Need help getting started as a Google Analytics freelancer?
Do you need help getting up and running as a Google Analytics freelancer? Here are some resources we offer and recommend to help you get to the next level:
Google Analytics Mastery Course
Want to become a certified Google Analytics wizard? This course is a comprehensive program teaching Google Analytics from the ground up. It's helped over 5,247 students master Google Analytics. Many of these students have gone on to provide freelance web analytics services.
Agency Jumpstart Course
Agency Jumpstart teaches you how to find your service niche, generate new business and increase your freelancing rates. Our weekly blog posts are packed with growth strategies for freelancers and consultants.